Conquering one region after another with his talent, Vince Camuto is both a fashion mogul, and an astute businessman. With one of the leading brands in footwear, the American designer is making a distinguished mark on the fashion industry. eniGma’s Radwa El Ziki got the chance to talk to Camuto about his vision, his entry to the Arab and Egyptian markets, his latest collections, and his future plans.
What inspired you to create the brand Vince Camuto?
After co-founding Nine West, I took a short break, but was eager to get back to work. I love what I do and it was a great time to start something new. I wanted to build a lifestyle brand.
What made you make the jump from businessman to fashion designer?
I’ve always enjoyed product and design but was always interested in the overall business. My very first job was actually not in design, but working as a customer complaints manager in a small luxury footwear boutique in Manhattan. This position helped me to learn about what women wanted and led me to design and build the business I have today.
What makes Vince Camuto stand out from other shoes and accessories brands?
We promise expert design and high quality at an accessible price point.
What is a Vince Camuto woman? What is she like and how does she dress?
The Vince Camuto woman is fashion-forward and sophisticated with a strong sense of her own personal style. She appreciates design, quality and craftsmanship and she likes clean silhouettes, pops of colour, bold accessories, and effortlessly mixing trends that take her from day to night.
What inspires you? Do you have a certain muse?
Louise Camuto, the creative director of Vince Camuto, is my muse. She also happens to be my wife. She has impeccable taste and she inspires me every day. We share a passion for design, art, and travel, and we work very well together.
Tell us about your latest collection and the story behind it.
There are three trends that are paramount. Tough yet luxe embellishments with metallic and exotic leathers, stud and buckle details; laser cut and perforated elements with clean silhouettes, and finally a regal opulence trend that offers decadent gem-encrusted straps and bands. With this collection, we promised a style for every woman, for every moment of her life.
In your opinion, what are the best and most enduring trends of the season?
Motorcycle boots are still on trend and I think they will continue to play an important role in fashion as they are cool yet functional and freshen up any look when unexpectedly paired with a dress or with denim to create a more downtown feeling.
Why did you decide to open a store in Egypt? And why now?
Egypt has an incredible energy that I relate to and I love the vibrancy, the creativity. We had also taken note of a high number of Facebook followers in the region and knew it was an area of brand interest. We had been looking for the right time and place to open a location and we partnered with Al Futtaim Group, found the perfect spot, and were excited about the opportunity. Women in Egypt appreciate and are knowledgeable about fashion and trends, and seek comfort and value in their purchases. We are offering footwear and accessories in trend-driven colours and luxe leathers and fabrications with specialty hardware. They give women the ability to fill their wardrobe with pieces that they can style and re-style, from day to night and weekday to weekend. The women in Egypt have a lot of fun with fashion and always reinterpret the collections in creative ways to make them uniquely their own.
What should we expect from Vince Camuto in the Fall/Winter season?
The Fall 2014 collection empowers the modern woman with new options that are smart, sophisticated, and stylish. Styles are menswear-inspired, tailored, with form-fitting panels and colours rich in deep romantic tones such as dark caramel and garnet. Materials are offered in new dimensions and textural pairings with quilted, pleated, and woven shoes and handbags. Lastly, equestrian elements and hallmark details like Jodhpur-goring and saddle-stitching across classic riding boots, hobos, and cross body bags are prevalent.
What are your proudest moments?
My proudest moments come during the time spent with my children. Nothing matters more to me, or makes me more proud than my family, and I cherish each moment I get to spend with them.
What is next for Vince Camuto?
We first launched the Vince Camuto lifestyle brand in 2005 and recently launched the Vince Camuto men’s brand. We think there is a real opportunity for the product, so we are continuing to explore additional opportunities, and we are expanding domestically and internationally.